Belgian medals instituted during the Provisional Government (1830-1831)
Instituted on 14 January 1831 by the Provisional Government to be awarded to patriots "who secured the emancipation of the country" and for distinguished dedication in "making the cause of liberty triumphant". Three classes were foreseen, the 1st class in gold and having a 40 mm diameter, the 2nd class identical but with a 30 mm diameter and the 3rd class in sterling silver, 30 mm in diameter. Only services rendered prior to 1 September 1830 could be considered.
However, shortly after its inception, the newly founded decoration was scrapped as it was deemed that the Provisional Government did not have the legal authority to create such an award and a law, voted on 28 May of the same year prevented any awards. The few crosses that were manufactured reside in Belgian museums or in private collections.
Order of the Star of Honour
Merit Medal of the Civil Guard
The Provisional Government created this medal on 19 November 1830 to reward distinguished services by members of the Civil Guard. The gold medal shows on the obverse a climbing lion holding upwards a lance with a "liberty cap" on its top. The engraver's name "BRAEMT F." is inscribed along the lower rim. The reverse has a wreath, with laurel leafs left and oak leaves right, in which are the words "RECOMPENSE / CIVIQUE" (Civil reward).
In all, only 5 awards were ever made :
General Baron Emmanuel Vanderlinden d'Hoogvorst,
Colonel-Commandant Chevalier Van Coeckelberghe de Dudzele,
Major François Michiels
and an hitherto unknown sergeant and an equally unknown guardsman.
© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2017